New York City cooled down Sunday from a heat wave that made temperatures in the 80s feel comfortable — at least, for some.
The top temperature in Central Park was expected to be 91. That's down several degrees from Saturday, when it came close to hitting 100 degrees, capping several days of heat hovering around triple digits that drew warnings from the weather service.
Sunday was likely to be the last day in the 90s for now. Relief was on the way, with the weather service forecasting a week of daytime temperatures in the low 80s.
The break is welcome news after New York City suffered through a third heat wave in weeks Saturday.
With temperatures crawling up to merciless highs, New York vendor Ahmed Abib sweated out his eight-hour shift Saturday inside a metal-enclosed cart that trapped even more heat with an iron grill, a fryer and a gas stove.
His take-home pay on Saturday exactly matched the temperature on a tiny thermometer he checked: $100 and 100 degrees.
"But it's good," the 38-year-old Egyptian vendor said, grinning. Selling his halal Middle Eastern food "is work, and that means money."
Still, though he drank lots of cold liquids, he said he could hardly wait to get home in Cliffside Park, N.J., to "strip off my clothes and take a shower — an ice-cold shower."
The National Weather Service said the official high in Central Park on Saturday was 97, part of a wave of heat over much of the nation. Temperatures soared over 100 degrees in several cities, including a record 105 in Washington. It was 106 in St. Louis and 104 in Indianapolis.
On Saturday, the air conditioning was not working at full capacity at Penn Station; Amtrak officials have said for weeks that they've been trying to adjust it.
With the doors wide open at a half-dozen locations around the two-block-wide station, "it's so hot I feel like I want to faint, like I want to die," said Betty De la Rosa, 19, of the Bronx, working at a station doughnut shop.
The thermometer there read 82.
"We're supposed to have air conditioning here, but it sure doesn't feel like it," she said.
Across the marble station hallway was the New Jersey Transit waiting room, where giant electric fans whirred the air down a few degrees.
Others went to cool off at the IFC movie theater in Manhattan's West Village.
John Villanova, 24, was at the theater for a show, and said that earlier, he rode a Manhattan subway back and forth for a half an hour with no destination in mind "because it really keeps you cool."
"Yes! Of course we came to cool off," said Villanova, a writer who was on his second sweaty T-shirt of the day and expecting to change again by evening.
Villanova came to the movies with his roommate, 25-year-old law student Andrew Janet, who said they had window air conditioners in their bedrooms, but not very good ones.
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Published at 8:50 AM EDT on Jul 8, 2012
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York